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Day 7 from oxidodone withdrawals
  1. #1
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Default Day 7 from oxidodone withdrawals

    It's been 7 days and 3 hours (and 5 minutes, but who's counting) since my last pill.

    I was pushing a case up a metal ramp when my wet shoes (the carpet was just cleaned, made everyone's shoes wet) slipped out from under me. I crashed down onto the 3' high case and whiplashed so hard my C1-C2 vertebrae crushed my occipital nerves on both sides of my head (occipital neurological). That was Oct 8, 2015. I saw my regular Dr., got a migraine shot (didn't work), 3 MRIs, and tons of blood work over the next 3 weeks. Dr. put me on 10mg oxi for pain and 900 mg of gabapentin (300mg, 3x per day) until we could figure out what was causing the pain. You see, I have suffered from intense migraines for about 10 years but this WAS NOT the same pain. This felt like lightening trying to escape my head (>>. the stabbing pain of a migraine). We finally determined it was from the fall and off I went to Workers Comp. That was hands down the WORST decision I've ever made! Over the course of 5 months I saw 6 Gen. Pract Drs, 2 neurologists, 1 plastic surgeon (for Botox for migraines) and a horrible experience with The Fullerton Headache Center in Ca. (Seriously, if you live in So Call DO NOT waste your time or money on them.)

    No work comp doc could get past my migraine history

  2. #2
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    You had a severe neck injury and they keep treating you for migraine? And you're saying you can't get worker's comp because they say your head pain is historical migraine and NOT caused by the C1-C2 injury? You've had X-rays and MRIs to demonstrate the nerve injury? I know nothing about these matters but I'm thinking maybe get a lawyer if they are really trying to deny you valid compensation.

  3. #3
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Too much info.... Rewrote my post but took too long. Ha ha ha ha. Here is the edited (and rest) of my post.

    It's been 7 days, 4 hrs and 10min (but who's counting) since I took my last pill.

    On Oct. 8 I received nerve damage to my occipital nerve while working. It took 5 months, 3 MRIs, 6 Drs, 2 neurologists, a finally a horrible experience with a headache center to finally leave the work comp system and start seeking answers on my own. They were stuck on my migraine history and kept telling me I just had a migraine, take more pain pills. Rock bottom was the day I arrived for my long awaited apt with Fullerton Headache Center (in Fullerton, Ca.) and they refused to see me. Wouldn't even tell me why. Just said the dr did t want to take my case and they canceled my apt by leaving a message with the work comp worker (even though her voicemail clearly stated she was on vacation until the day of my apt).

    Hubbie had found a neuro chiropractor that works with a neurological scientist in the next town over. After 15 minutes of listening to my symptoms I had a possible diagnosis. 1.5 hours later the diagnosis was confirmed and I had a treatment plan in place. It's been 2.5 months of visits 3x a week with the chiropractor and I am cured!!!

    I was on 300mg gabapintin 4x per day, 20mg oxi every 4 hours, 50mg Zoloft 2x per day, and 10mg ambien at night. In April I decided I wanted off the gabapintin. I spoke to my work comp neurologist and he said "just cut down 1 pill every 3 days." HOLY COW! No one warned me that gabapintin withdrawals are just as bad as oxi!!! It was horrible but I was determined to get off of it. The side effects were just as bad as the nerve pain! Once through those withdrawals I realized my nerve pain wasn't so bad (wd took 3 weeks). I talked to my regular Dr and we started my taper from 20mg oxi every 6 hours to 15mg every 4 hours. The WDs sucked but every post I read said taper first. So I did. It took 4 weeks and I was in such stomach pain I nearly stopped eating.

    On my next planed taper (last Thursday) as I took my first dose of 10mg and decided I have had enough. I was starving but knew anything I ate would just make me sicker. I talked to Hubbie and we agreed to just CT it. I buried my oxi and we talked to the kids.

    The first few days were hell!!! Crying spells, nausea, RLS, chills and PAIN!! On day 3 I made Hubbie dig up the oxi and hide them from me. I've added tramadol to my ambien at night only to help me sleep. Yesterday I told my Dr I was off the oxi! He was just as happy as I am! Today I cut the Zoloft to 50mg once a day. I take that for 2 weeks then can stop whenever I feel mentally ready. Ambien WD will begin as soon as I get through this oxi >>>>.

    As of today, day 7, I feel better. Nights are still bad. The chills and nuasea are still my greatest obstacle. I can't get rid of the goose bumps and each point feels like I'm freezing. I spend all day outside but as soon as the sun drops the chills hit. I was able to eat half a bowl of cereal and a PB&J. Any kind of meat makes my stomach try to leap out of my mouth. I am currently forcing myself to eat and drinking a lot of water. I never liked the way the pain killers made me feel. I am a VERY active person and have felt like a zombie for 36 weeks now. I am not worried about relapsing just getting through today. If it's anything like gabapintin I can expect about 2 more weeks until I'm done with WDs. (Night sweats lasted about 6 weeks.)

    I can't begin to say what a comfort this board has been to me. Knowing what to (truthfully) expect has helped me and Hubbie get through this. I find him trolling this board after every one of my crying spells. He has done all of the leg work to get me back. I couldn't have asked for a better partner through this horrible time.

    Nelly

  4. #4
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    I didn't get a diagnosis until March 29th, after I left the work comp system. They are great to help with lost wages but EVERY SINGLE DR I saw just said "migraine" and changed (upped) my pain killers "until you can go see" whatever Dr they wanted to refer me to. An MRI would never have picked up the damage, I needed an MRN. The occipital neurologia is OFTEN misdiagnosed as a migraine. If they would have listened to all of my symptoms I could have been diagnosed properly on the first visit. Migraines simply don't last 8 months!

  5. #5
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    WOW! Yes, totally different story. You aren't the first person to find a cure with chiropractic after mainstream medicine failed you. I'm glad for that and also that you are doing such a good job getting off all those meds. I too was on a cocktail of meds including oxy and Ambien and an antidepressant. They actually helped me through a tough time but when things got better I got off them.... one at a time. I was also on Ativan and a muscle relaxer. ONE AT A TIME is my mantra. Keep all others steady while you taper off one drug at a time. The only one to cold turkey is the oxy. (and maybe the muscle relaxer but that was no biggie) but the others should be tapered down. As you found, the oxy taper is just annoying and it's easier to cold turkey that.

    Yours is quite a story but I think you're going to just improve from this point forward. The worst should be behind you, and you will be thrilled to be off all those meds.

  6. #6
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Ugh! I just want to eat! I'm stuck in a vicious catch 22. I have horrible nausea because I'm not eating, not eating because of the nausea. I'm hungry but everything that touches my mouth makes my stomach try to jump out of my throat. I got some Ensure and pedialite. Hoping one helps.
    Any advice?

  7. #7
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Ginger snaps and ginger ale is all I can think of to recommend. They helped my nausea.

  8. #8
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    You had a severe neck injury and they keep treating you for migraine? And you're saying you can't get worker's comp because they say your head pain is historical migraine and NOT caused by the C1-C2 injury? You've had X-rays and MRIs to demonstrate the nerve injury? I know nothing about these matters but I'm thinking maybe get a lawyer if they are really trying to deny you valid compensation.
    The problem is I was hurt working in a casino and a report was Beverly filed.

  9. #9
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Last night sucked. After another complete breakdown I took ambien and tramadol at 8:30. Woke up at 3 and have been just coping. I was able to get 2 Ensure's, 1c pedialite, and the soft parts of 2 pieces of bread down over the past 3 hours. My stomach is pissed but I know I've finally got some nutrients down. I can take Alka-Seltzer again in another hour.
    Hoping today is better.
    Nelly

  10. #10
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    How could I have been so stupid?!?!
    I looked up the info in the tramadol I've been taking to sleep at night. Guess what it is... Yep, opioid. The one thing I am trying so desperately hard to get out of my body. No wonder my world is crashing down around me every night! Completely explains why I keep craving the oxi. I just took 1 GIANT taper.

    Welcome back to day 1. Hopefully this time around won't be as bad.

  11. #11
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Yeah I missed the tramadol when I was responding about all your meds. If you've only been taking that this week, then stop. But if you have been taking it longer, you need to taper that. It's not good to cold turkey tramadol because of the SSRI effects. Also you cut the Zoloft? I would not cut that at all right now! That will mess you up. I think I misunderstood your paragraph and thought you had only been taking Zoloft 2 weeks. But have you been taking it longer? You cut the Zoloft by half? That's a huge cut for an SSRI, it should be reduced much, much more slowly. If you've been on 100mg Zoloft per day for a long time, and cut to 50 all at once, you should be wrecked. I would go back to 100 and stay there until COMPLETELY stable. Drop the tramadol if you've only taken it this week. Keep Ambien and everything else exactly stable until you are feeling much better, almost "normal". I would think at least two weeks, preferably longer. Only then begin reducing the others, one at a time, and slowly.

  12. #12
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NellyHill77 View Post

    50mg Zoloft 2x per day

    ...

    Today I cut the Zoloft to 50mg once a day. I take that for 2 weeks then can stop whenever I feel mentally ready.
    Yeah I completely missed this. That same page I referenced Googling also gives instructions for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline). Schedule 13 down near the bottom of the page. It recommends a month off a benzo before attempting to get off an antidepressant. You aren't on a benzo proper but Ambien is for all intents and purposes, just like a benzo.

    If you've been taking Ambien for a long time, it's contributing to your horrible nights. Ambien stops being effective after a long time which is why start dose is 5 mg and then you need 10mg for it to work, then finally that doesn't work. It might knock you out immediately but you wake up in a couple hours and can't go back to sleep. It has a very short half life, and once dependent, can affect some of the same anxiety receptors that benzos affect. What I'm saying is that taking Ambien every night can cause anxiety problems because you become in a state of near withdrawal every single day, because of the extreme short half life.

    However, if you are also on an opiate, the opiate masks the Ambien problems. You will be able to stay asleep all night because the opiate will do the job. Opiates also cut your anxiety. So opiates "fix" this problem and you won't recognize that Ambien is doing this to you, until... you stop the opiate. I strongly suspect that's what's going on with you and the cure is to get off the Ambien.

    But if you stop Ambien cold turkey you'll not sleep at all for several nights. It will be truly horrific. Especially if you are cutting Zoloft at the same time. If it were me, I'd stay on 100 Zoloft and begin chopping a small chunk off the Ambien. Try to cut 1/8 of the Ambien pill off. Do that for one week, then cut 1/4 of the Ambien off, one week, then 1/4 plus 1/8. You will be down to 5 mg in 3 weeks if I'm doing this right in my head, but if it takes longer that's okay, Keep shaving off until you're taking only a crumb. At the same time start adding supplements like chamomile tea. Do some research on that, there are many options you can explore. Stay away from L-tryptophan and 5-HTP though, they will conflict with your Zoloft. You can try them later when you're off Zoloft. You might try no more than 3 mg of melatonin. But resign yourself to imperfect sleep until the Ambien is behind you. Only then would I start cutting the Zoloft.

  13. #13
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    My Dr cut the Zoloft by half. He said that's all I need to do for 2 weeks them I can go completely off. I agree with you though. Since I am the one instigating all of my tapers my Dr is letting my body decide what it needs. Tramadol was without my Drs knowledge (old prescription) and has only been for 5 days so that's gone. Bye. Don't let your shadow darken my path. I'm going back on full dose Zoloft until I feel stable off opioids. I'm not going to lie, the thought of tonight scares the hell out of me. I've been completely falling apart at night. As soon as dusk hits I become a complete mess. Going to try Advil PM tonight instead of tramadol. Hubbie is prepared for another long night of holding me while I cry. Every crying spell ends with me saying outloud "it's worth it to be done" over and over and over. I really hope I haven't done worse damage in my pursuit of sleep/ escape.

  14. #14
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    I should add that I've been on a steady oxi dose since Feb (was 6-8 hours before then) and Zoloft since Dec. I'm praying that helps the withdrawal severity and length.

  15. #15
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Might try cutting your Ambien in half. Take half at bedtime and the other half if (when?) you wake up at 3 am. I see nothing wrong with Advil PM but it gives me hangover sleepiness the next day. Doxylamine is not as bad for that.

    It seems your doctor's advice is standard. I guess there are some people who can quit SSRIs that fast but many, many people can't. You get "discontinuation syndrome" (they don't like to call it withdrawal. go figure.) For me, the symptoms were horrible. Years ago I was put on Effexor for only about 3 months and I quit it cold turkey. Worst withdrawal I've ever been through. Much worse than OxyContin withdrawal. Brain zaps so bad I could not walk, and I was only on it three months! More recently I was on a different SSRI and knew better than to quit cold turkey but I reduced it a bit too fast at first. Same terrible symptoms. It was a capsule, I ended up opening it and taking out small portions and weaned down over several weeks.

    I really don't think doctors understand this unless they've been through it themselves. Possibly many patients don't understand. They might not connect the strange symptoms to reducing or stopping the drug or maybe since it's a psychiatric drug, both doctors and patients assume the person is just having a re-emergence of a psychiatric disorder. Then they think they just need to stay on the drug. Personally I think a lot more research is needed for these antidepressants. I know they are good for some people some of the time, but I really believe the discontinuation problems are underappreciated by the medical community.

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    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    I've never known anyone that has had a good experience with Effexor. Everyone says to stay as far as possible from that.

    I completely broke when the pharmacy said they couldn't refill my ambien. I called my Dr and cried for about 10 min. I truly have the most caring non-workers comp dr out there. All of my issues started when I left his office for a work comp dr.

    Anyways. He told me the tramadol is a low enough dose to not make things worse but I still don't want it! I want it out of my house! We agreed to wait to taper off the others until the opioids are finished. He gave me atavan ((lorazepam, 1mg). Said I can take up to 3 a day. Must wait at least 2 hours before taking ambien. If that combo doesn't work I can add AdvilPM an hour later.

    Today has been a roller coaster. Sweats, chills, skin crawling, nausea. I'm living on Ensure and bread and hoping to move to real food soon. It's been 9 days since I ate a real meal. Forcing myself to injest Ensure because I know I need the nutrition to recover. However, the sun is starting to set here and that's when I start getting bad. Thank God Hubbie promised to be home before dark. It's so much easier knowing he is downstairs and can run up at any time.

    NEVER AGAIN!

  17. #17
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    So let me get this right... You think I should try half an ambien tonight or once I get through this opiod mess first?
    Half at bedtime with or without AdvilPM?
    Other half when I wake up in the middle of the night? AdvilPM then too?

    Any advice on food? I'm starving but want to barf with any solid food. Only Ensure right now.

  18. #18
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NellyHill77 View Post
    I've never known anyone that has had a good experience with Effexor. Everyone says to stay as far as possible from that.

    I completely broke when the pharmacy said they couldn't refill my ambien. I called my Dr and cried for about 10 min. I truly have the most caring non-workers comp dr out there. All of my issues started when I left his office for a work comp dr.

    Anyways. He told me the tramadol is a low enough dose to not make things worse but I still don't want it! I want it out of my house! We agreed to wait to taper off the others until the opioids are finished. He gave me atavan ((lorazepam, 1mg). Said I can take up to 3 a day. Must wait at least 2 hours before taking ambien. If that combo doesn't work I can add AdvilPM an hour later.

    Today has been a roller coaster. Sweats, chills, skin crawling, nausea. I'm living on Ensure and bread and hoping to move to real food soon. It's been 9 days since I ate a real meal. Forcing myself to injest Ensure because I know I need the nutrition to recover. However, the sun is starting to set here and that's when I start getting bad. Thank God Hubbie promised to be home before dark. It's so much easier knowing he is downstairs and can run up at any time.

    NEVER AGAIN!
    Nelly - I just wanted to chime in to tell you to be careful with the Ativan! I would suggest taking it as sparingly as possible, (3mg/day is a lot) you can break them in half for a .5mg dose which in my opinion would be plenty if in fact you need to take a benzo? Benzos are highly addictive and tolerance can go up pretty fast if you're not careful! Benzo withdrawal is the worst so please keep your usage to a minimum if you have to use them, just be extremely careful because it can get out of hand very quickly! Lastly, the tramadol is an synthetic opiate so be careful with that as well. Keep on keeping on, you'll get through all this. I wish you the best of luck! Take care... God bless us all!

  19. #19
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Whoops, Ativan is a benzo. You are not already on a benzo and he's starting you on one? You realize that is another addictive drug, right? Oh it'll work alright, it'll fix your anxiety AND put you to sleep, but if you take it more than just a few days you'll have a brand new addiction to worry about. If you are simply exhausted and NEED a solid eight or nine hours, then I'd take the Ativan but just for one night. Then I'd put it aside and not touch it. Possibly after a week do it again for another solid night's sleep. But it's kind of playing with fire to add that drug to your already complicated cocktail. My philosophy about benzos is take them only if you are in crisis mode. I can't tell if you are really in crisis mode or if you should try to stick it out without adding another drug. If you are non-functional because things are so bad, then use it, but very, very judiciously and as minimally as possible. You may even find that you can cut an Ativan in half and only take .5 mg at bedtime and that will work.

    To answer your question before the Ativan got thrown in the mix, yes, I meant go ahead tonight and take half your Ambien at bedtime along with an AdvilPM. If you go to sleep then wake up in the middle of the night, take the other half of the Ambien. But not more AdvilPM.

    But with the addition of Ativan, you will have to decide if you are in dire enough need of rest to use it. Just be very, very careful.

    Edit: Ricky my post crossed with yours, lol!!

  20. #20
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Wait wait wait. The pharmacy won't refill the Ambien? Ever? Or just right now? Are you in danger of running out?

    Food advice, there was a time I existed on Ensure. If that's all you can keep down, it'll do for now. You don't happen to have diabetes or pre-diabetes do you and have a blood sugar test kit on hand? Your level of nausea is kind of unusual. Wondering if you are having hypoglycemic anxiety attacks from low blood sugar at night. Might be worth buying a test kit and testing yourself at various times during the day, and at bedtime, and if you wake up in the middle of the night feeling horrible, test the BS level. Also one hour after eating, will show you which foods send your blood sugar too high or too low. It's really worth the money to rule that out. Seriously, a bottle of 50 test strips and a finger prick kit and a box of little alcohol wipes and needles for the finger prick thingie. Test like crazy for a couple days and chart the results with how you feel, and what you eat. Might be very enlightening.

  21. #21
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Last night the atavan made me extremely sleepy. 4 hours later I took my ambien and went to sleep. No tramadol, that's not even in the house. Slept a solid 10 hours and now feel like I can conquer the world (or at least do a load of laundry and spray paint a bookshelf). I didn't like the atavan AT ALL. Today I only plan to take a half pill IF, and only if, I have an uncontrollable anxiety attack. Doing house work and walking the dogs helps A LOT!

    I have a history of low blood sugar so I agree with the crashing. I've been SO HUNGRY lately and I know my body is finally starting to readjust itself. Gum helps the nausea like nothing else I've tried. The cramping is gone and it's just hunger pain now. My BFF brought me a bag of goodies (banana, kids soup, crackers, etc.) And I can't wait to eat. This entire CT decision was made because of the nausea during tapering.

    Today my goal is to eat a can of soup, put together my bookshelf and wash my bedding. Tonight I hope to sleep with only ambien. Tomorrow I want to sweep and mop the garage (laminate flooring) and do some simple house work. I know I have to go slow but today I am feeling that inspiration that left me on Wednesday afternoon.

    My 17th anniversary is Wednesday. My goal is to feel well enough to go to dinner, even if I only get a kids meal.

    I can do this!! I know I can!!

    Thank you for your support and help. I'm still in the middle of this >>>> but...

    It's been 9 days since my last pill, since the day I decided to take my life back.

  22. #22
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    Wait wait wait. The pharmacy won't refill the Ambien? Ever? Or just right now? Are you in danger of running out?
    The pharmacy wouldn't do an early refill of ambien. Told me I had to just CT it until Tuesday. That sent me into such a panic attack I had to call my dr. It took a few hours and lots of freaking out on my end but we got it worked out.

    Eating Cambels Chicken and Pasta right now. It's the best tasting thing I've had all week!!

  23. #23
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Today has been AWESOME!

    I ate! Not a lot, but whatever. I felt 50x better too.

    I took 1 atavan last night and hated the way it made me feel. My BFF was over and all I wanted to do was zone out. After reading the warning posts this morning I decided to avoid that as much as possible. I decided tonight to just take some AdvilPM with the ambien. Tomorrow will start the half an ambien sugestion.

    Have a great night and a wonderful Father's Day.
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  24. #24
    NellyHill77 is offline New Member
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    Just thought I would check in.

    It's been 11 days. I have to say I feel AMAZING!!! Today is the first day in 2 months that I have eaten an entire meal! My stomach was not happy when I was done but so what, I actually ate!

    I've been trying to get out and walk my dogs at least 2 miles every day but today was 117* so we stayed indoors. I made it through an entire shift at work then ran errands while the stores were empty. (Apparently people don't go grocery shopping when its this hot.) I feel better then I have in 8 months.

    Meds wise I am only taking my zoloft and ambien. I cut the ambien in half last night but had to take the other half at 3am. It was really hard to get out of bed this morning so I will quarter that am dose IF I need it tomorrow morning.

    I can't thank you enough for the help last week. There were days that I didn't think I could do it. I'm really proud of myself and can't wait to get through the last of this. Thank you again ThisWeek for holding my hand and walking me through this horrible time. I'll check back in in a few days.

    Have a WONDERFUL week!
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  25. #25
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NellyHill77 View Post
    Just thought I would check in.

    It's been 11 days. I have to say I feel AMAZING!!! Today is the first day in 2 months that I have eaten an entire meal! My stomach was not happy when I was done but so what, I actually ate!

    I've been trying to get out and walk my dogs at least 2 miles every day but today was 117* so we stayed indoors. I made it through an entire shift at work then ran errands while the stores were empty. (Apparently people don't go grocery shopping when its this hot.) I feel better then I have in 8 months.

    Meds wise I am only taking my zoloft and ambien. I cut the ambien in half last night but had to take the other half at 3am. It was really hard to get out of bed this morning so I will quarter that am dose IF I need it tomorrow morning.

    I can't thank you enough for the help last week. There were days that I didn't think I could do it. I'm really proud of myself and can't wait to get through the last of this. Thank you again ThisWeek for holding my hand and walking me through this horrible time. I'll check back in in a few days.

    Have a WONDERFUL week!
    Great Job, keep it up! Be well... God bless us all!

  26. #26
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    So glad to hear you've turned the corner! Sorry I've been gone a couple days but you worked it out!

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